Grand Canyon National Park – Arizona
The one of the greatest shows in the world. Visiting the Grand Canyon National Park is having before us more than 80 million years of geological history. More than six million recreational visitors travel to Arizona every year to marvel at this open crack in the ground. The Colorado River is still actively eroding its channel today, discovering ever older rocks. It is the second most visited American national park after the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The Grand Canyon was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The park celebrated its centennial on February 26, 2019. The Grand Canyon National Park is 20 miles from the City of Las Vegas.
How to Plan the Visit to the Grand Canyon National Park?
The dimensions of the Grand Canyon National Park make it necessary to plan any visit very well. The Grand Canyon of the Colorado stretches over 278 miles long, 18 miles wide and almost a mile deep,
This means that you have to make a detour of more than 190 miles if you want to drive from the north bank to the south bank or vice versa. Crossing the canyon on foot takes 2 days and is a good option to get to know it in its entirety. Therefore, you will have to decide which area of the Grand Canyon to visit. You can visit the Grand Canyon from:
- North Rim
- South Rim
- West Rim.
The South Rim is the one that receives almost all the tourists that go to the Grand Canyon National Park. The South Rim is open 24 hours a day, all year round, while the North Rim is open from May 15 to October 15.
On the south bank there are many viewpoints, with wider and more spectacular panoramic views.
The North Rim has few tourists who decide to visit the Grand Canyon every year. If you make the decision to visit the Grand Canyon with a little more tranquility (and fewer tourists), the north bank is ideal. Against him it has that the views are less amazing than from the south bank. Also with fewer viewpoints enabled. The descent to the bottom of the canyon here is longer than on the south rim.
How to visit the South Rim
The South Rim of the Grand Canyon is divided into 3 zones and there are viewpoints in all of them. In the center is the center of the area.
The best thing to do as soon as you get to the grand canyon is to head to Grand Canyon Village. In this place there are accommodation, shops, a supermarket, a post office, a bank, parking lots, toilets, telephones, a clinic, a mechanical workshop, bookstores and a train station.
West of the Grand Canyon Village is a road called the Hermit Road, which can only be traveled in the summer with the park’s free buses. In winter the public transport in the park stops and you can do this route in your own car.
East of the Grand Canyon Village is the highway called Desert View Road. This is the route of entry for everyone going to or coming to Monument Valley or Antelope Canyon. In Desert View Road there is no bus line, so you can visit the viewpoints along this road at your own expense throughout the year.
How to get around the South Rim
There are three free bus lines to get around in the Grand Canyon National Park. There is also another line to bring tourists staying in Tusayan to the Grand Canyon Village, which is the purple line.
The blue bus line called the Village Route runs the central area of the park, the Village.
In this way, when you arrive at the Grand Canyon, you can park your car and move with the park buses. The blue line connects to the other two lines: the red line Hermit Road Shuttle Bus Route and the orange Kaibab Trail Route.
The Buses of Grand Canyon
To the west of the village, the red line runs to the viewpoints in this area. The entire tour on the bus takes 80 minutes without getting off at any stop. Its frequency is 15 minutes and it works from 5 am to 1 hour after sunset.
Spend 50 minutes to complete a full lap. The first bus of the day to watch sunrise at Yaki Point departs from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center at 5 am, then continues at 5:40 am, 6 am and 6:20 am. Then they already have a frequency every 15 minutes. In This viewpoint the entrance to private vehicles is prohibited.
The Hiker’s Express Shuttle Bus, connecting the Bright Angel Lodge with the South Kaibab trail, departs early in the morning. It only operates in the summer months from 5 in the morning. This is only for hikers going down to the Grand Canyon.
What to see and do at South Rim
Sunrise in Grand Canyon National Park
The most convenient viewpoint is that of Yaki Point. To get to this you have the orange line buses that start operating at 5 am from the Visitor Center. It is an amazing experience to see how the sun illuminates the Grand Canyon and tints it with tones. We advise go with a coat, since the temperatures at dawn are the lowest of the day. And it’s cold at that time all year
Hiking Into Grand Canyon National Park plan ahead
more info click on Pics ( NPS pdf Download)
Descend South Kaibab Trail to Skeleton Point
Going down to the Colorado River and going up on the same day is not convenient. It is only possible to do it if you are in good physical shape and not in the summer months.
The Bright Angel Trail
It is the most popular trail in the entire park. Descend down a narrow arm of the Grand Canyon and you don’t have good views at the beginning of the hike.
The South Kaibab Trail has a less steep descent and more extensive panoramic views. It is convenient to do this trail very early in the morning to avoid the high temperatures of the afternoon.
For the more adventurous who are in physical condition, and want to descend and ascend on the same day, my recommendation is to go down the South Kaibab Trail and up the Bright Angel Trail.
You can do the descent or the ascent by mule, but you have to book well in advance
Fly Over the Grand Canyon National Park
Flying over the Grand Canyon is an amazing experience for those who decide to do it. The sensation of flying the grand canyon and seeing its panoramic views is incredible. There are two ways to do it: By helicopter or by plane.
Flights are obviously not performed on this plane. In 1977 Grand Canyon Airlines (GCA) purchased a Ford Tri-Motor. 5-AT-74, which now spends most of its time on the ground, as an exhibition. Grand Canyon Airlines fly over the grand canyon by plane and helicopter.
Grand Canyon Airlines Ford 5-AT-C Trimotor N414H was built in 1929. Its serial number is 74 and it is the 155th of 199 Trimotors. It is powered by three Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior nine-cylinder radial engines.
How much does the entrance to the Grand Canyon cost?
The Entry costs $ 35 per Car: Valid for South Rim and North Rim
The entry is valid for one week. Remember that if you are going to visit the two banks of the Grand Canyon you will only have to pay the entrance once. The South Rim and North Rim belong to the Grand Canyon National Park.
If we are on the West Coast of the United States, we can use the Annual Pass. It is a pass valid for 12 months with which we can enter all the National Parks of the United States. The Annual Pass costs $ 80 and will be profitable when we plan to visit more than 2 national parks.
The West Rim where the Skywalk glass walkway is located is not within the Grand Canyon National Park. The West Rim belongs to the Hualapai Indian tribe. And therefore, the “Annual Pass” is not valid at the West Rim.
The Grand Canyon was discovered by the Spanish García López de Cárdenas in 1540, the first European who passed through it. He was sent by Francisco Vázquez de Coronado to find one of the “Seven Cities of Gold”, called Cíbola, a mythological city covered in gold. After 20 days of travel they found the Grand Canyon of the Colorado.
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